In 1997, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (HSH) acquired the 100-room Quail Lodge, along with associated golf course and residential development lots in Carmel Valley, California. The Lodge was built in 1964, and had many years of success as an integrated resort/golf/residential development. Peninsula ran the lodge property for more than 10 years.
Then in 2009, the company decided to assess what might be the best way forward for the property. It was decided to use a Design Competition for a Master Plan of the property to see what could be done.
Miller ran a completion with an international selection of architects. A Brief was developed, outlining a high-end luxury villa Peninsula resort hotel, with branded villa residences for sale. It was decided to focus the study on the hillside property, adjacent to the Lodge itself, potentially offering a dramatic setting amongst the woods, with views out over the valley.
The key design challenges that had to be faced included:
- connection to existing property and its landscape
- circulation for both resort guests and residents.
- maximizing views from slopes and amongst trees to be preserved
- proposing solutions construct-able on steep, wooded and rocky slopes
- ultimately creating a special Carmel Valley destination
The competition progressed to a selection of two finalists - Antoine Predock Architect - APA (Albuquerque, NM) and PMD, (Perth, AUS). Both teams offered potential stunning solutions, but from two slightly different angles. Both proposals included elegant elements taking advantage of the topography, and both designs created what ultimately could have been a unique resort destination in norther California. The PMD solution was grounded in the lifestyle experiences relevant to the location, and how they could be formulated to support use by both guests and residents. The APA solution respected local traditions but had more focus on dramatic forms to create memorable environments and experiences.
The effort proved a useful learning experience for the Peninsula team to demonstrate Peninsula Resort potential. However, issues of land use and other hotel operation issues prevented progressing with either scheme. HSH closed the Lodge for a period, re-structured some of the land issues, did a significant renovation to the Lodge and re-opened with fanfare in 2014.